By BRIAN SMITH
Weatherford City Council members took a step toward “stop talking and start doing” with a Strategic Plan work session Thursday evening.
Strategic Plans are used by cities as a way of setting budgetary goals. They are evaluated every so often, which helps officials during the budget process each year. Weatherford’s plan was last evaluated in 2008 right before the recession hit, Director of Management and Budget Chad Janicek said.
“This gives us an opportunity to see if the goals and priorities we adopted in 2008 still apply today,” Janicek said.
Mary Wieder with Strategic Counseling Services said a survey was given out before Christmas to council members and city department heads to find out the positives and issues the city is facing through their eyes.
Council members saw customer service, the friendly nature of the town and being an upwardly mobile community the best things about living in the city. Staff members saw the rich history of the city, being close to the Metroplex, parks and new shopping opportunities as some of their favorite things.
Some of the changes both entities have seen over the last four to five years include Weatherford becoming a hub for surrounding communities and increased growth, which comes with the normal “growing pains.” Changes that need to happen, in the eyes of those surveyed, include a more aggressive attitude toward debt obligations, getting a better handle on infrastructure and looking toward the future.
Other changes identified include understanding the city’s growth and where it’s coming from, budgeting for long-term goals instead of the proverbial “wish list,” and having more family oriented businesses.
Many of the recommended changes needed to be made coincide with what were seen as issues facing the city, including the transportation and infrastructure needed, areas of the city beginning to show their age, meeting residents expectations and a need for strategic direction.